What is MMT? MMT is an accurate description of how our economy actually and already functions at the federal level. It replaces false financial constraints (debt!, deficit!!, China!!, inflation!!!* and HoWrEyOuGoNnAPaYFoRiT???), with real constraints: our ability to utilize human labor in order to obtain, produce, and do what we need to survive and thrive.
(*Inflation the Boogeyman, not inflation in reality.)
This post contains links to hundreds of academic works to learn more about Modern Money Theory, or MMT – primarily from those who have developed it over the past quarter century. It also contains layperson tutorials, addresses common concerns and misconceptions, and lists of many reliable people, organizations, websites, and podcasts to follow in order to ask questions and learn more.
These resources were created by Activist #MMT, the podcast (Twitter, Facebook, web, please consider becoming a monthly patron). A new resource page was last added or deleted on September 17, 2020.
Disclaimer: I am a layperson who has studied MMT since February of 2018. I’m not an economist or academic and I don’t speak for MMT. The information in this post is my best understanding but I don’t assert it to be perfectly accurate. In order to ensure accuracy, you should rely on the expert sources linked throughout. If you have feedback to improve this content, please get in touch.
First things to read, watch, and listen to, for a basic introduction to MMT (all geared to the layperson)
- Non-academic sources: a list of single recommendations, and an alternative list containing several recommendations
- Good first academic papers to learn MMT and its major concepts.
- Every known repository of MMT-exclusive academic papers
- Reliable people, organizations, podcasts, and websites to learn MMT
- What *is* MMT? (And what’s its key insight?)
- What specific components make up MMT?
- The three policies recommended by MMT: floating exchange rate, job guarantee, and ZIRP
Major concepts (other)
- Chartalism (the state theory of money) is historical. Barter is a-historical.
- Inflation the Boogeyman versus inflation in reality (through an MMT lens)
- The MMT view of sectoral balances.
- The MMT view of developing nations and financial sovereignty.
- An interest-rate target above zero exacerbates inequality.
- What are federal programs funded by? The decision to do them.
- What is MMT’s theory of inflation? (with academic sources)
- The MMT view of ZIRP (permanent [near-]zero interest rate policy)
- If federal taxes don’t pay for anything, then why do we pay them?
- The many reasons *why* the idea that “taxes pay for stuff” is deeply sinister.
- Taxes drive money. (There’s a guy at the door with a gun.)
- Redistribution via federal taxation can only be *indirect*.
- Many examples of the hateful using the idea of “taxpayer money” to withhold from those they hate.
The national debt
- The reality of the national “debt” (that isn’t)
- Central governments don’t borrow, they *securitize*.
- If China dumps their debt, we’re all gonna die. (No we won’t.)
- National debt scaremongering: A century-long historical walkthrough.
- The national debt will kill us all! (No it won’t.)
- Paying back the national debt: the hard way, and the easy way
The MMT-designed job guarantee and full employment
- What is the MMT-designed job guarantee? (with sources)
- The real meaning of the word “productivity.”
- Managing price stability only for some, on the backs of millions (our current system)
- Involuntary unemployment is a scourge on our society.
- Our overly-rosy unemployment statistics ignore millions.
- It is official American policy to keep millions unemployed.
- A highly technical summary of the MMT-job guarantee (broken down for the layperson)
- MMT and its job guarantee are inseparable.
Common concerns, criticisms, and misconceptions
- The MMT view of class conflict/class struggle (with many sources)
- The MMT view of the reserve currency, or petrodollar.
- Government deficits *augment* private spending. (There’s no such thing as “crowding out.”)
- What are some **good-faith** criticisms of Modern Money Theory (MMT)?
- A story to introduce MMT to kids.
- Two songs to introduce MMT for the layperson.
- Using numbers to hide mass suffering and immorality.
- The Nobel prize in economics is no Nobel at all (written by Ben Szioli)
The top photo is the full abstract from Stephanie Kelton’s 1998 paper, Can Taxes and Bond Sales Finance Government Spending?.